Annual fundraising run going virtual due to coronavirus

Police officer's memorial fundraising run going virtual

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Every year people hit the pavement at Spring Grove Cemetery for the annual Matt’s 5K Pursuit.

Things are going to be a little different this year, which also marks year 15 of the fundraising event.

Instead of a large group of people coming together for the 5K, everything is being done virtually due to the coronavirus.

The run is put on by The Matt Haverkamp Foundation not only to support law enforcement agencies in the area but also to honor and remember Haverkamp, a Golf Manor K-9 officer who died in 2005 following a car crash.

This is one of the largest fundraisers the foundation puts on throughout the year, so Haverkamp’s mother says she’s hoping people will still sign up.

“We would love for people to still participate and post their photos on Facebook," Nancy Haverkamp said. "We will also have a special video that will air on the morning of April 19th, so people can still feel like we’re holding the 5K.”

Nancy says so far about 370 people have signed up, but the numbers are down because last year 1,100 people registered.

Matt Haverkamp created Golf Manor’s first bike patrol and K-9 units.

“The police still need these dogs," Haverkamp’s lifelong best friend Heather Lane said. “Life is still going on. Our first responders still need their help while all of this stuff is going on, so as an organization or a foundation we feel that it’s still important to raise this money so that we can help departments this year. We have a goal of helping at least five departments in 2020 so we want to make sure we’re still able to do that.”

Since 2005, The Matt Haverkamp Foundation has funded 70 K-9′s, and they’ve also provided protective vests, training and training equipment.

“Just in 2019 we assisted 18 departments," Nancy said. “We funded 13 K-9′s, also protective vests, all for a total of $155,666 so you can see how important the 5K is being one of our largest events.”

To learn more about how to sign up and exactly how the run going to work virtually, click here.

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